Eco-friendly travel guide to Colombia advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Colombia, South America.
- Air quality: 3 / 5
- Bus connections: 4 / 5
- Train connections: 4 / 5
- Hitchhiking: 4.5 / 5
- National parks: 5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3 / 5
- Safety: 3 / 5
- Accommodation: US$11 - $50
- Budget per day: US$100 - $150
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 Regions
- 11 Cities
- 12 Getting There and Moving Around
- 13 Sustainable Shopping
- 14 Recycling
- 15 Work and Study Abroad
- 16 See Also
Colombia is a northern country in South America that shares its borders with Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, the Caribbean Sea, and the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the most popular tourist-centric countries as it is home to a diverse but enlightening culture that attracts people worldwide. Colombia is home to over 50 million residents that belong to different ethnic groups. The capital of the country is Bogota, which coincidently is also the largest city. The country has a long civilization history, which makes its culture rich. Many beautiful little quaint towns present where some endemic ethnic groups are present and live in peace. The ancient towns, stunning beaches, historical landmarks, and breathtaking views attract different types of travelers. You will find that the laws are a bit lenient because of so much diversity, which has resulted in high pollution and crime rates.
Therefore, you must keep caution and follow different precautions to keep yourself safe. The Castizo and Mestizo are the dominating ethnic groups present, which constitute 87.58 percent of the total population. Other ethnic groups include Afro-Colombians, Raizal, Romani, Amerindian, Palenquero, and many others. These ethnic groups have low percentages, which means that they are minority groups. You must respect these groups and try to help them create a good living standard for themselves and their families. You can do so by supporting localized brands and promoting them. Christianity is the main religion, followed by Roman Catholicism. You will find these two religions dominating the religion of the country. Therefore, many churches and Christian monuments are present in Columbia. The country covers 1,141,748 square kilometers, out of which only 2.1% constitutes water bodies. During your visit to Colombian cities, you must use public transports as they are more affordable and cause less pollution. You can also opt for electronic vehicles. You must follow these travel tips so that your trip to Colombia is sustainable and causes no harm to your health or the local environment. Volunteering is also essential as it will help create better living standards and learn about the country's issues and challenges. It will help you in becoming knowledgeable and involving yourself in the right choices.
Air Quality and Pollution
The air quality of this country is not good enough. There are a lot of reasons behind it. The three main reasons are tourists, residents, and industries. These three are the top categories because of which this country is facing so much air pollution. You can observe much traffic in this country as most locals prefer to use their vehicles whenever they have to move around The use of engine vehicles causes much pollution because they consume gasoline, petrol, or diesel and emit harmful chemicals such as carbon and methane. Carbon and methane create a lot of pollution. Other is the tourists as there are more than four million travelers who visit this country every year. Around three fourth of the tourists prefer a taxi or a personal vehicle to move around. This excessive use of taxis to move around causes a lot of pollution. Others are the industries as the chimneys of factories or drives are not cleaned or treated well, which causes a lot of pollution. Air pollution can cause many serious problems such as asthma, breathing difficulties, choking, lung cancer, etc. The government should take serious measures for industries and traffic to reduce air pollution; otherwise, this can grow disastrously in the future.
Other pollution which is at a moderate scale and is continuously growing is noise and light pollution. Current statistics show that 55% of places in the entire country are suffering from light pollution. The main reason is its nightlife. Like the fact that no one will admit their fault, according to investigations, both locals and travelers are equally responsible. Locals and tourists enjoy the nightclubs, DJ nights, and bars that run overnight. These bars and clubs create a lot of noise and light pollution. Other reasons are construction sites and traffic as they serve as a significant source of noise pollution. Noise pollution can cause disturbed sleep, stress, migraine, headache, dullness, nausea, and many others.
Respect the Culture
We must respect every culture. A culture is common thoughts and beliefs which are shared by a group of people. Various groups follow different cultures, and they denote many things that include their history, beliefs, traditions, perspective, and many others. We must not disrespect any culture as it can cause grudges in the locals, which is not suitable for you. Different cultural festivals take place in different parts of this country. These cultural festivals involve different types of traditional cuisines, folk dance shows, and traditional music, including orchestra and various decorations. The culture of Colombia comes from Spain and its native civilizations. Before the 19th century, the churches had a lot of rights and powers. These churches served as the education centers and controlled the whole education of this country. You can learn about the culture and various incidents that took place and impact its culture in museums and some churches built in ancient times. Many tourists visit this country to celebrate various cultural festivals and try traditional dishes.
Top 10 Places to Visit
- Medellín (Antioquia): Medellín is one of the Colombian municipality, capital of the department of Antioquia. It is the most populated city in the department and the second most populated country after Bogotá. The city extends to both banks of the Medellín River, which crosses it from north to south, and is the prominent position of the metropolitan area of Valle de Aburrá. The city has a projected population of 2,508,452 inhabitants (2018), while this figure, including the metro area, amounts to 3,821,797 people (2016). In the 19th century, Medellín was essential to commerce, exporting gold, and later merchandise from industrialization. As a departmental capital, Medellín houses the Antioquia Government's headquarters, the Departmental Assembly, the Superior Court of the Judicial District, the Metropolitan Area of Valle de Aburrá, the Attorney General's Office.
- Eje Cafetero (Western Colombia): The Eje Cafetero is a center with an ecological, economic, cultural and geographical region of Colombia, sits in the departments of Caldas, Risaralda, and Quindío, in addition to the northwestern areas of Tolima, the southwest of Antioquia, the north and east of Valle del Cauca and the capital cities of the first four departments mentioned (Manizales, Ibagué Pereira, and Armenia, respectively). It was a notable member among the rubber producer at the beginning of the 20th century, but it turned to coffee later on. The Coffee Triangle, not to be confused with the coffee axis, is a region between the basins of the Otún, Campoalegre, and La Vieja rivers. Due to the cultural landscape of the coffee region and the cultural importance, UNESCO declared part of this area as a World Heritage Site in 2011 to recognize the landscape and the most representative culture of that coffee region, which was called the Coffee Cultural Landscape.
- Cartagena (Bolivar): Cartagena is officially, and the historically renowned Tourist and Cultural District of Cartagena de Indias is the capital city of the department of Bolívar, north of Colombia. Pedro de Heredia founded the city on June 1, 1533. It is present on the shores of the Caribbean Sea. Its foundation occurred in the sixteenth century, and throughout the Spanish viceregal period, Cartagena de Indias was a critical Spanish America port. From this period, Most of its artistic and cultural heritage comes. Cartagena declared itself independent from Spain on November 11, 1811. November 11 is a national holiday in Colombia, and the locals celebrate it for four days, known as the "Fiestas de Independencia." Cartagena has been a city present during warlike conflicts and piracy. There were numerous attacks by pirates and corsairs from Europe, which meant that it was heavily walled and fortified during the Spanish administration. It has the most potent fortress locates in South America. At present, its viceregal architecture is under maintenance.
- Tayrona National Natural Park (Magdalena): The Tayrona National Natural Park sits in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta's foothills in Colombia. It comes under the surface of the department of Magdalena. It seats 34 km far from the urban center of Santa Marta is one of the most important natural parks in Colombia. The wild park is the habitat of many species distributed among the regions with different thermal levels ranging from sea level to 900 m above sea level. The park's total area is about 15,000 hectares that makeup to its stretch; 3,000 are marine areas. The park dates back to 1964. In 1969, those 4,500 marines and 15,000 land hectares became a natural park due to their high biological and archaeological value. Its temperature ranges between 25ºC and 32ºC since it extends from 0 - 900 m above sea level and has two rainy periods: from May to June and the other from September to November. Here in the park, more than 350 species of algae are present, while the terrestrial flora has more than about 770 different plant species. The national flower is the orchid and is found a lot in this Caribbean region. The park is famous for its coral formations, tropical landscape, rocky coastline, white beaches, lagoons, and mangroves. The natural park is the habitat of a great diversity of species of fauna and flora. Among the former, you can find groups of mammals. Of these, four species of felines are present in the area: Panthera Onca (Jaguar), Leopardus Pardalis (Ocelot), Leopardus Wiedii (Tigrillo), and Puma.
- The Lost City (Magdalena): Ciudad Perdida (Spanish for "Lost City") is an ancient city's old archaeological site in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta of Colombia. Archaeologists believe that it dates around 800 AD, some 650 years before Machu Picchu. "Teyuna" and "Buritaca 20." The lost city consists of 169 terraces carved into the mountainside, a network of tiled paths, and several small circular plazas. The entrance is only accessible by climbing about 1,200 stone steps through dense jungle. The Lost City was discovered in 1972, when a group of local treasure looters, Los Sepúlvedas, found a series of stone steps going to the side of the mountain. They followed them and found an abandoned city called "Green Hell" or "Great Complex." The Sepúlveda was a small family of looters; its history leads to the beginning of the most significant archaeological discoveries in Colombia. They went hunting in Colombian forests and found a dead wild turkey. Upon retrieving the turkey, they noticed that it had fallen onto an exposed piece of the ladder. This ladder led them to find the Lost City.
- Providencia Island (San Andres and Providencia): Providencia may be a mountainous Caribbean Island, a part that sits within the Colombian department of the Archipelago of Providencia, San Andrés, and Santa Catalina halfway between Costa Rica and Jamaica. Providencia's maximum elevation is 1,180 feet above water level. A 330-foot footbridge connects the smaller Santa Catalina Island to the northwest to its older sister, the island. It has a total area of about 17 kilometers square; the two islands cover a neighborhood of about 8.5 square miles and form the municipality of Santa Isabel, which had an overall population of about 4,927 inhabitants per the 2005 census. The island was an English Puritan colony established in 1629 by Providence Island Company and was taken by Spain in 1641. The pirate Morgan used Providencia as a base to assault the Spanish empire's rumors suggest that much of his treasure remains hidden on the island. Many parts of the island have their names after Morgan. Forts and canyons dating back many years are present here and scattered throughout the island of Santa Catalina. In November 2020, Category 5 Hurricane Iota directly affected the island. An estimated 98% of this region's infrastructure saw severe destruction, making it one of the strongest and worst tropical cyclones to impact Colombia.
- Mompox (Bolivar): Mompox or Mompós, officially the unique, tourist, historical and cultural district of Santa Cruz de Mompox, and is a district of Colombia, within the department of Bolívar. Thanks to the state of conservation for the historic center, it had been declared a memorial in 1959. It also became a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995. Mompox connects with San Fernando and Pinillos, a municipal seat 248 km away from Cartagena de Indias. It's a part of the Network of Heritage Peoples of Colombia. The District of Santa Cruz de Mompox sits within the department of Bolívar, on the western bank of one of Magdalena's arms, this one with its other arm surrounds it to make Isla Margarita, within the so-called "Momposina Depression" Region.
- Leticia (Amazonas): Leticia is a Colombian municipality that sits in the extreme south of the country. It serves as the capital of the Amazonas Department in Colombia. Despite being far from the country's main urban centers, without road communication, it constitutes an essential commercial nexus with Brazil due to its location as a border city on the Amazon River and forming the triforium known as Tres Fronteras with Peru and Brazil. Currently, it brings together almost 60% of the department's population and the majority indigenous from various communities such as the Uitotos, Ingas, Tucanos, Ticunas, and Nukak. The city has excellent demographic growth, and technically it forms a single town with the Brazilian municipality of Tabatinga. Leticia is a port named for the transport that occurs through rivers; this is common in Colombia with a river network of 24,725 km. It was founded as a river port on April 25, 1867, when it still belonged to Peru. San Antonio got its name after the Peruvian captain Benigno Bustamante, governor of Loreto (Peru). On December 15 of 1867, the port's name became Leticia in honor of Manuel Charón's wife, Leticia Smith. Manuel Charón was a well-known Colombian engineer who played an essential role in shaping this beautiful port city landscape in Colombia.
- The La Guajira Peninsula (La Guajira): The La Guajira peninsula is that the northernmost peninsula in South America, located between the acute northeast of Colombia and, therefore, the extreme northwest of Venezuela. It's an area on the brink of 25,000 km², extending from the Bay of Manaure, within the Caribbean, to El Calabozo's cove within the Gulf of Venezuela. Politically, most of it belongs to the Colombian department of Los Angeles Guajira, and a narrow coastal band to the southeast belongs to the Venezuelan state of Zulia (Guajira Municipality). Until the top of the 19th century, it had been at issue between Venezuela and Colombia; one dispute ended with the Spanish Arbitration Award of 1891. An outsized part of it became a belonging of Colombia, ratifying said award the border treaty of 1941.
- Bogotá (Central Colombia): Bogotá, officially Bogotá Distrito Capital (formerly called Santafé de Bogotá), note one together with the thirty-two departments form the Republic of Colombia. It is the capital of Colombia and the department of Cundinamarca. It is administered as a capital district and enjoys autonomy to manage its interests within the Constitution's limits and the law. It consists of 20 different localities, and they are the industrial, economic, artistic, political, sports, administrative, cultural, and tourist epicenter of the country. Bogotá, on August 6, 1538, by the Spanish conqueror Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada, after a challenging expedition to the Andes. It sits in the center of Colombia, in the natural region known as the Bogotá savannah, which is part of the Cundiboyacense highlands, a formation located in the Eastern Cordillera Andes. It spreads over 33 kilometers in length area and about 16 kilometers in breadth area. As the capital, it houses the highest-ranking bodies of the executive branch, legislative and judicial. According to a Colombian economist, Bogotá stands out for its economic strength associated with its production size. The facilities it provides to create companies and their operations, financial maturity, attracting global companies and human capital quality also play a vital role in shaping its economy. It is the leading market in Colombia and the Andean Region, and the first destination of foreign direct investment that reaches Colombia of 70%. It has the highest nominal GDP and per capita globally, providing most of the national total of 24.5%. It is the sixth city by the size of GDP in Latin America, about USD 106,678 million with a nominal GDP per capita of USD 11,594 and a PPP GDP per capita of USD 20 120. It also serves as the largest business platform in Colombia, where most high impact ventures occur.
With wealthy cultural inhabitants, vast rain forests, and huge mountains, Colombia is the most organically diverse country globally. Its dense forest, snow-covered volcanoes, and mountains of Andes make it favorable for tourist attraction. Exploring such an incredible country is fun and healthy for the mind and body. You will get to know many different species in the vast and dense Colombia forests because they were undisturbed for many million years. You can visit many city parks, museums, national parks, and beaches in this beautiful country and find many more relaxing places to enjoy with your family. While doing this, you will get to know what you must eat and what is right for your health, and it will also help you discover different cuisines. In Colombia, you will get to know various people, and it makes the country's foods, music, dance, and various other art activities more diverse and unique. Befriending a local will also help you explore different parts of Colombia. It is because a local knows more about the local places than any other person or entity.
- Simon Bolivar Metropolitan Park (Cundinamarca): Simon Bolivar Park is famous because of its green space, and also a park lake is the park's attraction, where you can rent a boat too. Here you can go for a picnic, as you will get picnic tables, playgrounds for playing games, and a café to enjoy meals. You can enjoy many events and festivals, including concerts in this park of Colombia. This park is best for family vacations, picnics, and for hosting many events. It is also known as the 'lung of the city' due to its central location. You must-visit Simon Bolivar park when you are in the city.
- Sagrado Corazon (Barranquilla): This park is the largest in Colombia, and it covers approx 30 acres of land. Park is famous because of its jogging area, baseball, softball, football, soccer fields, and many other picnic facilities are also there for you to enjoy with your family. Many people come here and do many cardio group exercises, such as dance, martial arts, Zumba, gymnastics. The Sagrado Corazon park is suitable for all age groups. It is ideal for visiting with your family or children.
- Parque El Virrey (Bogota): It is a lovely scenic city park in Bogota, in which you can enjoy walking, as it has separate walking paths. Here entry and parking fee is free, and you can enjoy it here with your family in daylight. It is a favorite spot for runners, with three distinct running circuits, combining asphalt and brick walkway. Many people from local and visitors also visit this park regularly. You can get some peaceful and enjoyable time with your family and friends in this Bogota park.
- Arvi Park Medellin (Colombia): Arvi Park is an ecological nature preserve and prehispanic archeological park. It consists of antique buildings, waterworks, roads, gardens, and ditches. The most unique and fantastic feature of the park is its access, which is possible through a metro cable. Food markets are also there outside the park to enjoy small meals here with your family, and it is an ideal place for taking your kids out on any evening.
- Lleras Park (Antioquia): Lleras is heaven for gourmet restaurants, trendy cocktail bars, and youth restaurants. It is the city's social center; many local people and tourists find it an essential nightlife venue. This place is suitable for hosting many events, and youth loves to come to this park to attend or hosting parties. Many people also enjoy walking in this park, as it has greenery, green space, and mixed habitats.
- Los Nevados (Murillo): This national park is the most-visited park in Colombia. Many locals and tourists trek up to Santa Isabel volcano's glacier, and it is a very off-limits and active volcano from the other seven volcanoes of Colombia. You will get to see the large amount of Andean wax palms and also endemic bird species. Yellow-eared parrot and Buffy Helmetcrest hummingbirds are the attraction of this national park.
- Chingaza (Cundinamarca): The high-altitude Andean national park is the most protected ecosystem in the world. You can plan a day trip to this national park, to see beautiful lakes and forests. It is the best area to see bears, white-tailed deer, and many bird species in Colombia. Easily you can visit this place to see incredible and breathtaking views.
- Sierra Nevada del Cocuy (Cordillera): Colombia's highest altitude, mountainous national park is Sierra Nevada del Cocuy. Hiking lovers must visit this place, as it is open for 50 kilometers of trekking trails. Many people from outside visit this place throughout the year. It is the country's most beautiful national park and is also an off-the-beaten-path park.
- Isla Gorgona (Gorgona): Isla Gorgona is one of the most dramatically beautiful national parks of Colombia. It is a biodiverse protected park, contains many species of snakes, lizards, and birds. It also has a Pacific island, which is home to many sharks and whales. Diving is also very famous on this island, located near Isla Gorgona national park. You can learn more about different plants that grow here, in a different climate.
- Macuira (Guajira): Macuira is the smallest mountain range national park in Guajira. It has Colombia's most dramatic landscapes and also has a cloud forest ecosystem because of humidity. Rarely visited but it has spectacular views and species. It also has flat deserts to high mountains, along with plants, they also offer different species of animals at risk of extinction. You will get to know about the animals and plants in detail after exploring such a beautiful national park in Colombia.
- Capurgana (Choco): Capurgana is the best beach for those who want to disconnect from daily distractions, as no vehicle is allowed here. You will find this beach as the most inspired beauty because of its simplicity. Water is also crystal clear, and you will get to see a variety of marine lives on this beach. This place is best for divers also, and you will find immense relaxation after reaching. You will get positive vibes here at night because of the calmness around the shore, and it will help you get deep sleep.
- Playas De Palomino (Palomino): The ultimate vacation spot of Colombia is Playas De Palomino beach. You will find this beach flawless for diving and snorkeling. The golden sand of the beach and friendly locals here adds beauty and bliss to the beach. This beach will help you relax your body and mind, through the sounds of the waves, relaxing will also help you get nice and deep sleep. You can also participate in many beach games, which will help you interact and befriend the locals.
- Beaches of Isla De Providencia (Providencia Island): Diving and snorkeling are most famous on Isla De Providencia's Beaches, which also has stunning and clear water. Gentle waves of beach lap up against the soft white sand of the beaches. Here you can completely relax your body and mind while just lying on the beach. Relaxing will help you to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. You can play many water games like windsurfing, snorkeling, and other such sports.
- Playa Blanca (Isla Baru): This white beach is the favorite of many Colombian families looking for a quick escape from the city's busyness. Mesmerizing blue water and postcard and many spectacular views attract many tourists and also local viewers. Weekends and public holidays are the busiest on this beach, makes it more crowded and noisy. Here you will get to hear the swishing sounds of palm trees and breaking waves.
- La Miel (Sapzurro): La Miel is a short trip away from Capurgana and has many restaurants that serve hot plates of local food. Fried fishes with coconut rice and fried bananas are the favorite for locals and many tourists. Sleeping near a beach will provide your body with a fresh sea breeze, which helps expand your body's oxygen intake and keep you healthy. You will feel fresh, relaxed, and anxiety-free once you visit this Colombian beach.
- Monserrate (Bogota): The defining features of Bogota making it very popular for pilgrims' destination. Here you can enjoy different cuisines, as there are many restaurants available on the top, and you can enjoy spectacular views from here. Lights and decorations on Christmas Eve make it more pretty and beautiful. Travelers can take cabs to the top, walking or going as part of a city.
- Castillo San Felipe (Cartagena): Castillo San Felipe is the great fortress in Cartagena, and it is on the hills of San Lazaro. The fort consists of a series of walls, broad at the base and narrow towards the parapet. It has a grand entrance and complex maze tunnels, well preserved, and is for military purposes. The castle is open for visitors, you can plan your weekend trip for here, and you will enjoy yourself here with your family,
- Mompox, River Magdalena (Magdalena): Mompox is a famous town in northern Colombia and has preserved colonial character. There are a variety of inhabitants and also has a mixture of Spanish and Indian styles in architecture. Mompox is famous in Colombia as the home of the musician Toto la Momposina and her band. Mompox's music is a fusion of African and Spanish influences. Nature surrounds the town, which will make you fall in love with them, the quietness and calmness of the city will relax you, and you can see eagles, herons, and other birds. You can also enjoy the Jazz festival even here, held every year in October.
- Coffee Triangle(Colombia): It is a Colombian coffee region that is popular by the name Coffee Triangle. It is famous for producing the most Colombian coffee and has developed many theme parks, attracting many tourists. The coffee area also has a Culture Coffee museum, which replicates the colonial city, where tourists enjoy dance performances and traditional music. Tourists' excursions offer trekking to some of Colombia's top coffee cultivating lands.
- Bolivar Square (Bogota): Bolivar Square offers a stunning and beautiful view of the Colombian city. The main square of the Colombian capital, Bogota, and the heart of the town's historical area. It is also the main attraction of the tourists and even the site for many manifestations and protests. It would help if you visited this stunning landmark of Colombia.
- Archeological Museum (Pasca): Archeological Museum is a house to a great collection of Pre-Colombian objects, and human remains, including mummies. This museum has a botanical garden stuffed with animals and also has a large insect zoo. It also has a collection of Muisca artifacts, also hosts materials from Tairona, Calima, Quimbaya, and San Agustin. The museum area showcases carbon mining, Colombian musical instruments, Muisca clothes, ancient mummies, and bohios’ metallurgy.
- Children's Museum (Bogota): The Children's Museum is a private museum, and the main aim of this museum is teaching the children about science, technology, culture, and arts. Approximately 15,000 visitors visit this museum per year, and it also becomes a park for children. The main attractions are bouncing houses, bicycle rides, and races for kids. Computer clubhouses are also there to teach low-income families computer skills for various computer activities, such as computer animations, graphic designs, editing, and composing.
- Colombian National Museum (Bogota): The museum is a collection of history, art, and culture. It is in Bogota downtown, is the oldest and the biggest museum in Colombia. The fort builds with stone and bricks, which includes arches, domes, and columns. It has rooms for Colombian history paintings, art, and culture. It exhibits many Chinese, seven full statues, and several other objects and parts. You can visit this place to see the various historical arts of Colombia.
- Museum of Antioquia (Medellin): Museum of Antioquia is a museum of art in Colombia, the first museum in the Antioquia department and the second in Colombia. Medellin workers have many works, which include weapons, flags, and other items from Colombian independence. The museum also has volumes related to history, art, and science. Botero statues are also present inside the museum, attracting many tourists and even local people of Colombia.
- Quimbaya Museum (Armenia): The Quimbaya museum has a collection of pre-Colombian art crafts of gold, pottery, stone sculptures, and carved woods. This museum's rooms consist of many ceramics, stone, shell, wood, and textile archeological objects. In front of the extinct train station's locomotives, the museum is north of the city. It is also a museum of the first inhabitants of the Quimbaya indigenous culture. The architecture of the museum is fascinating and also very famous Colombian architecture.
During your visit to Colombia, you can always make your trip more enjoyable by exploring the food culture. You will find that it is delightful and enlightening to explore different food cuisines and food options present in other cities in the country you are visiting. It will also help you in learning about the local culture, livelihood, and traditions. There are various ways to explore the different cuisines, like taking a cooking class from a chef, participating in food tours, visiting local food stalls, etc. You can find different specialty items in different cities’ restaurants, cafés, bars, hawkers, diners, and eateries. The best way to learn about the food culture would be to befriend a local and visit their home. Visiting a local’s home will help you eat organic and localized food made in traditional methods.
- Arepa paisa
- Hormiga culona
- Sudado de Pollo
- Pescado Frito
- Picada Colombiana
Along with exploring the food culture, you must explore the drinking culture of the country you are visiting. Doing so will not only help you make your trip to Colombia enjoyable but also satisfying. The drinking culture includes both alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic drinks. You will find that both types of drinks have their charms and significance. These drinks are available at reasonable prices in the local bars, restaurants, cafes, diners, pubs, and even supermarkets. It would be best to explore the drinking culture with your friends or a group of people to create enjoyable and memorable times during the trip.
- Avena Colombiana
Tap water of this country is safe to drink without adding any additional purification methods. There are different water purification plants established in other cities of this country. As there are different plants for different municipalities, some towns might have unsafe water due to various reasons like improper supply pipes. You must always confirm with the locals whether the tap water of that particular city is safe to drink or not. The reason why we are claiming Colombia's tap water is safe because most of the towns deliver safe tap water. However, out of 48 % of the total water of this country is polluted. Most locals and tourists leave many plastic bottles, wrappers, etc., in the water body they are visiting, especially beaches. Other reasons are the chemical industries that release untreated water into the water body. The efficiency of these water purification plants is so good that instead of 48% polluted water, they deliver clean and purified tap water. As the water is fit for drinking, there is no use for bottled water; therefore, you must not buy them. You can refill the bottle from various drinking water stops available at almost every tourist spot. Thus, as a responsible tourist, you must not pollute water and should not waste it in any means.
There are a lot of activities to perform in this country. This country is present at a warmer altitude; therefore, the average temperature lies between 16 to 24 degrees Celsius. Actions are the tasks that we do out of our interest. These activities bring us joy and experience. No one finds activities boring here because these are adventure-packed. You can explore your city, exploring various parks, national parks, museums, landmarks, etc. The gardens here are very cleaned and help a person do many things such as walking, cycling, playing sports, or meditation. You can even explore some healthy restaurants like vegan or organic, which is very health beneficial. You can explore various beaches present in the country. Beaches are great for relaxing your body. Other than this, beaches allow you to try a lot of water sports. Windsurfing is the most commonly practiced water activities. There are rental shops which can provide you surf boat and other gear for rent if you do not want to purchase. You can try rock climbing offered by some national parks and various other tour organizers for some adventurous activities. These are some of the favorite activities for most tourists. There are many more activities available in Colombia than this.
Accommodation starts with lavishing resorts and ends with Couchsurfing in Colombia. There are different accommodation options which depend on you. Many things rely on an accommodation option, and for every situation, there is an additional accommodation option. Conditions: if you are traveling alone to this place, then there are hostel rooms or camping as an accommodation option available, out of which camping is a temporary means of accommodation. If you are traveling to Colombia with your family, there are hotel rooms, resorts, and apartments. Hotel rooms are a better option to stay for a shorter duration. Resorts are best when you want to live a luxurious lifestyle. Flats are best if you're going to stay here for a longer time, such as half a month or more than a month. If you are traveling here with a large group or want a house, various guesthouses are available for accommodation. If you are running low on your travel budget, then you can couch surf at a local's home. This different type of housing also costs differently.
Due to a lot of pollution, many people felt a need to establish green hotels. The government of this country also supports the development of green hotels in this country. Green hotels are certified by the government or a regulatory body and are known for protecting nature while serving their customers. The dishes which they offer are entirely organic and untouched from any chemicals or fertilizers. They even do not add any food color to make their talk attractive. The ingredients are freshly picked either from their farm or by local farmers for the regular supply of components. These hotels also have their garden for their customers to roam around or to spend some time together. Also, these hotels will help you maintain your carbon footprint and make your Colombian trip sustainable. They provide recycled and reusable items, which will help you avoid one-time-use plastic responsible for severe pollution problems worldwide.
Hostels and Guest Houses
Hostels and guesthouses are two different accommodation options. Hostels are an accommodation option when you are traveling alone. In this country, the hostels which you get are shared by one other person also. The other person might be a solo traveler from a different nation. These hostels are budget-friendly and offer necessary facilities such as electricity and water.
On the other hand, guesthouses are best for those who are traveling in a large group. Guesthouses refer to renting out a whole house where you can stay while providing a specific charge. You can even get your kitchen where you can prepare your food. You can also get proper privacy and security.
Apartments are best for those who want privacy and are here in this country for a long time. There are mostly two-bedroom, one hall, and one kitchen type apartments available. These apartments are furnished and offer a modular kitchen. There are a lot of benefits to staying in an apartment. The apartment makes you independent as you have to do your work on your own. It boosts the self-confidence of a person. Some of the flats are present near any sea or ocean. These apartments will give you the best view of sunset and sunrise along with a fresh sea breeze.
Couchsurfing is a type of accommodation where a person from a foreign country stays with the locals at his house. This type of accommodation comes without any charge. However, you can help them with their household work. If you are lucky, your host can provide you with a separate room to sleep in, and you can even get a mattress. You cannot wholly rely on this type of accommodation as some of the time, the host has canceled the meeting at the very end of time; therefore, it is a must that you must have a backup option ready.
There are many camping grounds which are available in the country. Camping is an adventurous type of accommodation which involves stargazing. At the weekend, you can see some of the locals camping there. You can make their friends, and they can help you a lot. Other than this, there are several camping tours available in each city organized by private agencies. You can join those tours to enjoy various things, including moving around the town, dance, parties, camping in the jungle. The best part of these camping tours is that even if you are traveling alone, you can make many friends on this tour. There are beaches in this country which allow you to sleep.
- Bogotá - The Republic's Capital, a city where all the country converges.
- Barranquilla - The Gold Port and fourth largest city in the nation isn't necessarily that exciting most of the year, but its carnival is the second biggest in the world after Rio de Janeiro's, and is an amazing cultural experience and one heck of a party!
- Cali - Colombia's third largest city and a center for sugar and coffee industry. It enjoys terrific nightlife in the salsotecas, and is known as the salsa capital of Latin America.
- Cartagena - The Heroic City, Capital of the Bolívar department is Colombia's tourist city par excellence. The colonial architecture and the skyscrapers can be be seen together in this city that offers a unique experience of festivals, restaurants and hotels.
- Cúcuta - This is the sixth largest city of Colombia. It has many interesting places and is one of the most ecological cities of Latin America.
- Manizales - The center of the Zona Cafetera offers the opportunity to visit Los Nevados National Park and to live the coffee plantation experience.
- Medellín - The City of Eternal Spring and capital of the Antioquia department is famous for having a large textile industry, which produces top quality clothing that is sent all over the world.
- Pereira - The lovely City , capital of the Risaralda department and major city of the coffee region, important and modern city, commercial and touristic.
- Popayán - This beautiful, white-washed city is Colombia's religious center.
- Santa Marta - One of the most touristic cities in Colombia. Santa Marta is unique in the sense that it offers you beautiful beaches one day, and the next one a walk to the foothill of a snowy mountain, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the highest in the country.
Getting There and Moving Around
There are a lot of options to reach this country. There are airports connected with every city of every country so you can directly get to this country. Other methods involve roadways, including the use of public buses. Public buses are best when you are present in the neighboring country. Different ways include a ferry ride, but a ferry ride can take a lot of time to get there. All these modes of traveling are equally efficient in reaching different parts of the country with ease. You should keep your use of airways minimum because aircraft cause a lot of pollution. It would also be best to use localized and environment-friendly transports to visit the different Colombian cities, tourist sites, and natural wonders.
There are different transport types to move around, including public buses, trains, taxis, bicycles, and other means of transport. Out of these means of transportation, the most eco-friendly means of transport is either walking or bicycling. These can serve you to move around the city of Colombo. While walking or cycling, you closely observe the country. During your trip to Colombia, you must use sustainable measures to keep your carbon footprint minimal and support local businesses and agencies. It would be best if you travel so that your trip to Colombia is respectful towards the local environment, including nature and the local communities.
There is a total of 168 airports in Colombia. The number itself shows that there are a lot of airports which are present in this country. The flights connect Colombia with all major cities of every nation. The flights are well maintained, and the staff is kind and highly professional in dealing with customers. These flights can also help you to travel intercity, but that can cost too much. Around three fourth of the total number of travelers reaches here by flights. It is a very convenient and fast method to get to this country. So, airlines are the best way to get to this country.
There are broadly three types of buses in Colombia. The first one is the international buses. These buses travel internationally, which means that you can reach this country from neighboring countries. The buses have wide and broad seats, allowing anyone to sleep comfortably while traveling at night. Next on the list is an intercity bus. An intercity bus is a bus that moves from one city to another. These are vast in size and have their washroom and canteen. The third is the local buses. These buses travel in the town and are used to move around the city. These further splits into two groups = day buses and night buses based on their time.
There are international trains which run in this country. These trains are limited only to the nearing countries. They are focusing on the rail of Colombia. The distance which is covered by trains in this country is more than 3000 kilometers. It states that this country has a well-knitted railway system that connects every city. Other than these trains some trains can help you move around in this city which is remarkably more considerable. These trains are clean and hygienic. There are various bookstalls and snack stalls on the station. These provide you with snacks and beverages to enjoy during your journey. At present, Medellin is the only city that has metros to move around.
Hitchhiking is asking for a free lift to any passer who is going in the same direction. Some highways can help to hitchhike. The crime rates of Colombia are meager, which decreases the chances of any scams or robbery. You have to wave your hand in the air as a signal for help. This sign can help you to attract a lot of locals who are going in the same direction. However, this method is only beneficial to travel within the country, travel intercity. Hitchhiking can take a lot of time; therefore, you must have patience enough.
There are other options, such as a taxi or ferry ride. Both have their demerits. Already this country is dealing with a lot of traffic; therefore, it is your responsibility to make your journey a least pollution with fewer carbon footprints. Using taxis will consume natural resources, and it also emits smoke, which involves methane and carbon in it. These chemicals serve as the primary pollutants. The demerit of the ferry is that it is expensive and consists of a transfer. It also takes a lot of time. Only Peru, Panama, and Brazil are the countries from where we can reach Colombia by waters.
Many sustainable markets sell sustainable products. Sustainable shopping means shopping for those products which are economical and does not harm nature. In sustainable need, there are food vendors who prepare food on the spot and sell it. It gives us quality and hygiene satisfaction. Next are the flea markets. Flea markets are the markets where all the vendors collectively sell their utilities such as vegetables, fruits, etc. Many travelers do not often see these markets as they may be periodic or seasonal. They deal in a bulk quantity in small amounts. Other sustainable products involve second-hand products.
Recycling is a good activity that involves reusing various products such as metal, tin, paper, glass, plastic, and many others by giving them different shapes. There are metal and paper recycling plants, which are seen most often by most of the travelers. Recycling saves a lot of space in a landfill. It also saves a lot of raw material required in the production of a new product. Other than this, there are many benefits as recycling plants generate employment and positively affect society. Others are it saves a lot of energy required in the production of a new and finished product. Using these products will help you manage your travel budget and save a lot of money from petty expenses.
Waste is a product that is of no use. Therefore, it is needed to decompose it to lessen pollution. Around 53 % of the entire country is dirty. The waste management team and policies are inefficient to keep cities clean and tidy. Tourism is also responsible for this dirt. Most tourists who do not feel any responsibility or sense of belonging toward the country make it dirty. They throw plastic bottles everywhere, making them dirty. The government of this country should come up with strict policies and severe punishment for such people. Even the locals dump their waste in water bodies. There are massive landfills that are left untreated, which is causing toxic air. There are many ways to clean this country, and the government should adopt them.
Work and Study Abroad
There are different job opportunities in this country. These jobs require other skills and educations. Like various industries continuously look for laborers, managers, and workers. They can hire you according to their requirements and your qualifications. Also, there is no job-seeking agency or a government body to help you find the correct position. However, for your convenience, you can contact these industries, companies, or organizations online. If they get impressed, they can offer you a job and call you for their selection procedure.
The education of this country is very efficient in producing bright, disciplined, and well-educated students. The schools involve learning various subjects along with one foreign language. Learning a foreign language like Spanish can help you to communicate without any language barrier or translators easily. These allow you to boost your confidence and social skills. There are many co-curricular activities such as art classes, sports classes, etc., so that students may not find education boring.
There are education centers that provide this facility. This program is very beneficial for students. It helps a student to shift to a foreign country and live their life alone. It helps a person to observe their lifestyle and to adopt it. It also helps a student to be independent. As he meets new people, he starts getting confident. Not every student gets a chance to be a part of this program; only the deserving ones get the chance. Therefore, you have to be extra-ordinary in your studies. Some universities provide free education in this program. You have to pay only for living there. Some of these educational institutes also offer different scholarship options to international students.
An au pair is a person who has the work of taking care of the child. Some basic features involve that the person is a foreigner. He does not charge any amount for his work. The only thing which he asks for is to stay with the local's family. There are many au pair jobs in this country. Many parents are working parents, and they need a responsible person who can take care of their child at home. You can contact these families and present your demands and expectations not to create an issue later. During your search for au pairing jobs, it would be best to represent yourself as a gentle, caring, selfless, and kind person. Most families look for these traits in an au pair for the well being of their children and other members of their family.
Volunteering refers to activities related to doing some work without charging any money for it. As there is a lot of pollution present in this country, many NGOs help the government clean it. Other organizations help the homeless and needy people by providing them food. They are always searching for people who can volunteer. You can contact these organizations directly by visiting their offices. Participating in these volunteering activities will help you interact with the local communities and help them in any way you can. Helping the locals will help you interact with them and learn about the various societal challenges and issues they face. Thus, you should participate in volunteering and make your trip responsible.